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Mobile milestone, Shopping growth highlight Google’s Q2 performance

Published: July 28, 2016

Author: Bob Sturges

Account Director Jake Favaro contributed to this report.
For the first time in agency history, mobile clicks surpassed desktop clicks across Google search, Google Shopping, and Google Display Network, we found when analyzing Q2 performance across client accounts.
Along with this mobile growth, with tablet growth experiencing a separate but significant surge, our biggest eye-opener was an increase in Google Shopping traffic, which was due in part to greater client awareness but also signifies a shift in retail spend.
In this post, we will break down year-over-year volume and performance trends for Google Search, Google Shopping, and Google Display Network (which includes Gmail Sponsored Promotions). For each, we will provide insights by device. We will close with takeaways from the data and a look ahead to Q3 and beyond.

Google Search (402,997,569 impressions, down 33% YOY)

All devices

  • No change in CPC; clicks are up 16%; CTR are up 37%; CVR is down 16%
    • This reflects an increase in mobile traffic, which traditionally has a higher CTR and lower CVR than desktop


  • CTR increases are roughly in line with position increases; we’re pushing harder for higher position on page because of recent SERP changes


  • 32% increase in CTR, average position is flat, 19% increase in average CPC
  • Clicks are up 28% YoY, with mobile traffic greater than desktop in Q2 (this is the first quarter we have seen this at 3Q)
  • Mobile CVR is down 29% whereas desktop is only down 12%; this could indicate our clients’ need to continue to explore alternate conversion points for mobile


  • Traffic increased 26%
  • CTR improved by 24% despite average position worsening by 14%

Google Shopping (180,446,524 impressions, up 333% YoY)

All devices

  • Clicks are up 280%; CTR is down 12%; CPC is down 26%
  • Traffic gains were largely due to 3Q’s clients increasing sophistication and investment in Shopping


  • 135% growth in clicks; no change in CVR
  • CPC dropped 8% while CTR dropped 10%


  • Clicks increased by 491% (more than triple Desktop’s increase)
  • Mobile click traffic was nearly double that of desktop
  • CVR was flat Y/Y and almost literally half of desktop’s CVR
  • CPC dropped 5% and are roughly 1/3 of desktop’s CPC


  • Clicks were up 263%; CPC was down 8%; CVR was down 6%

GDN (1,423,951,246 impressions, up 26% YoY)

All devices

  • Clicks were up 37%; CPC was down37%; CTR was up 14%; and CVR was down 95%
  • CVR dropped sharply across devices, most sharply in mobile; this is due in part to several major upper-funnel pushes across campaigns and to broader adoption of GSP campaigns, the CVR of which dropped by scale


  • 8% increase in clicks; CVR down 52%; CPC up 15%


  • 51% increase in clicks
  • Clicks more than doubled desktop clicks
  • CPC down 172% YoY, CVR down 119%


  • Clicks up 17%, CVR down 77%, CPC down 66%

Insights and takeaways

  • It is important for companies to do more than optimize their mobile funnel; they must begin thinking of their experience in a mobile-first mindset, perhaps incorporating different conversion events. This is particularly important for ecommerce, where we saw 78% more clicks than desktop for Shopping campaigns.
  • With tablet traffic also on the rise (up 260% for shopping and 26% in search), Google’s announcement of bringing back single-device campaigns in the back half of the year could not come at a better time.
  • While Shopping still has a considerably lower CVR than Search (3% vs 12% CVR), Search CVR is masked by brand traffic and lead gen campaigns with much shallower conversion events than the goal of actual Shopping purchases.

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